Lowrie Family to Croatia

Francois’ Story

I want to say thank you to many of you who have joined with us in praying for God to bring healing to Francois. Today things remain the same with him in ICU on a ventilator, ECMO, and dialysis (his kidneys are working but cant handle all of the fluids). I thought I would take time to further introduce you to the man that you have been praying for. PLEASE keep praying!

Francois Tshishimbi Kabeya is from Kinshasha, DRC. He fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo striving to find a better life for he and his family of eight. He hasn’t seen his wife and children in person for almost 5 years! I have tried to help him along the way with paperwork, trips to Western Union, talking with social workers, international aid organizations etc to do what we can to see him reunited with his family. He was granted political asylum here in Croatia and has his resident visa as such. When Francois first began coming to New Life he could only speak and understand just a little English as his first language is French. At that time we had some folks in attendance and Emmanuel would sit by Francois and translate the services into French for him. After losing those folks who spoke French and English, I have made it a practice to translate my message outlines into French and lay it on his chair for each service. Francois came to us with a profession of faith and someone had al-ready taught him what it meant to honor God in his finances thru tithing. When he was hired at a local bakery, he immediately began to tithe. After he and I began going thru a Bible study together (my outline in English and his in French) we came to the subject of Biblical baptism and church membership. At first he was resistant to being “re-baptized”. After about two months of him reading over and over the lesson he came to me one day and said,  “Pastor, I need to be baptized”! Francois has been faithful in his attendance, giving, and serving. He has been a blessing to his church and to his pastor. He is my friend and I miss him.

Previously I mentioned his job at PanPek Bakery and trips to Western Union. When he first arrived here in Croatia, Francois lived in the “Refugee Center” so both work and Western Union were some distance. He was able to get the work permit for the job, later a bicycle to get him to work. Western Union is because he sends the majority of his paycheck back to the Congo for his wife and kids. Francois later received the political asylum and residency after which the Croatian government also assisted him with obtaining a VERY small loft apartment. His apartment is in the attic of a car wash building with no air conditioning and one 8×16 window that opens into the wash bay. His primary diet is a corn meal hash and fresh vegetables. Francois always enjoys Church Family Lunch which we prepare and serve on the first Sunday of each month. We make sure to send some leftovers home with him each time. He lives very simply so that he can send as much money back to his family as possible.

Just prior to coming down with COVID, we received word that the Croatian government had granted family reunification visas for his family to be able to join him here in Zagreb. AMEN! Just before going into ICU he gave me the keys to his apartment and told me where I could find the last bit of paperwork that was needed to send to the Croatian Embassy in South African (closest to Congo) then they will contact the Croatian Embassy in Istanbul (his family will fly thru there to Croatia) who will put a visa stamp in everyone’s passport which will allow them to enter Croatia. They will have to obtain an exit visa which will allow them to leave the airport in Istanbul to go to the Croatian embassy to get these stamps. YES it is crazy! We are also working with an international aid organization that has said they will help cover the costs of the plane tickets. His family should be in Zagreb the first part of October. Please pray they can get here and for their family to be reunited and for The Lord’s will regrading Francois’ recovery.

Thank you for your prayers and support!

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